Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

A very merry Christmas from all at the BOGOF household

Marie & John

Saturday, December 15, 2007


“What’s that”, screeched my mam as we were sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee yesterday morning.
“What’s what”, I replied.
“That there”.
“By the bush”.
“Which bush” – there’s about two dozen in the garden.
“By the ??? (some Latin name)”.
“In English please”.
“See where blackbird is. Behind him”.
“Oh you mean a rat”.

Mam then freaks out ! ! !

When she eventually calmed down (not a good time for her to be giving up smoking…), she phoned the pest control at the local council. They are sending someone out on Monday to deal with Basil – that’s what I’ve called it after ‘Basil the Siberian hamster’ in Fawlty Towers.

She rings Gloria, her next door neighbour, to tell them about Basil as it kept running into one of their bushes. Between them they decide Basil belongs to the neighbour two doors away as they keep rabbits.

Gloria then rings mam back to say she’s phoned the council and they too are coming out on Monday. They then set up a campaign to tell everyone in the street about Basil and for them to each ring the council.

Basil – your days are numbered ! ! !


Saturday, December 08, 2007

I’ve been tagged

Jenny tagged me.

Rules: Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1: I have a phobia of thunder and lighting and loud noises.

2: I celebrated my 21st birthday in four different countries – Austria, Italy, Germany and the UK, and no I didn’t just fly over them.

3: I used to have a crush on the Manchester United and England footballer Bryan Robson (yes I know I was sad ! ! !).

4: I’ve been sworn at in every major language.

5: I used to work at the government office that lost all the child benefit data….

If you read this and haven’t yet been tagged, then consider yourself tagged ! ! !


Thursday, December 06, 2007


That’s what the man at the newsagents said when we handed him our lottery ticket and he scanned it. He hasn’t had the shop very long, and it was probably the biggest payout he’s made. Actually he didn’t because he had to take us across the shop to the Post Office where we filled out a claim form and were given a cheque. Then it was off to the Bank, £2641 richer.

In case you’re wondering, we’re spending it on a new kitchen.

On the domestic front we removed the damaged garage door and extricated Marie’s car, then we fastened the door back in so the garage is secure. They’re coming on Monday 17th to fit the new door. Allegedly.

Other than that, the main distraction at the Bogof household has been preparations for Christmas which continue apace. Is it me, or are people putting their decorations up earlier this year. We counted 61 on the way to and from the supermarket tonight.

Only two more working weeks to Christmas !!!!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Garage door

As promised more news on the garage. The scientific aids came and had a good luck but sadly couldn’t get any decent finger prints. They’re still hoping to pin the garage on the two they arrested yesterday though.

Rang the insurance company and everything is fine with our claim. Because I can’t get my car out of the garage they have put the repair down as a priority.

We were told that should it be found out that the two people were responsible, then the insurance company will reclaim all costs incurred from them and we’ll most likely get our excess back.

The little assessment man from the repair company came this afternoon – he was supposed to come on Wednesday morning… He knew nothing about the Wednesday appointment, all he was told was to get there as soon as possible.

As expected the garage door is beyond repair so a new one will have to be fitted and that wouldn’t take place for at least two weeks. Not best pleased but there’s nothing we can do about it.

Unfortunately I can’t be car-less for that length of time so John is going to take the door off to let me get my car out and I’ll have to leave it at the front until it’s fixed.

Because of our lottery win, John now has to buy his work colleagues some doughnuts…


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Attempted break in at a lottery winners home

This morning we were woken up by Alan, our neighbour upwards, to say that someone had tried to break into my garage during the night.

As you can see they did a good job of bending the garage door. Thankfully no damage was done to either of the cars or anything stolen.

I rang the police straight away and as no damage was done or anything taken it would only be classed as willful damage. They would send someone out at 2.30pm this afternoon.

I also rang our insurance company to see if emergency repairs could be carried out to either secure the door or have the hole boarded up until a replacement door could be installed. Apparently garage doors come under building contents and as the buildings claim line isn’t open on Sunday’s I’d have to call back in the morning. Not best pleased ...

John managed to put a large piece of wood between the gaping hole and my car and also put up a large sheet of plastic over garage opening to try and cover it a little.

While we were waiting for the police to come I decided to have a bit play on my computer. Having checked my various emails, I checked our lottery tickets and found that we had five numbers on last nights lottery. So we’ve won £2641.

I know you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth but I think we’re more gutted in only being one number short of winning a share of £8m than the damage to the garage door…

Anyway 2.30pm, 2.45pm, 3pm came and went and still no sign of the police. At 3.15pm I got a phone call from PC Hall apologising for not coming out as they had been called to an incident. She took a couple of details then said they had arrested two people in the area last night for car crimes and were wondering if the two were related.

She called back about half an hour later to say that the scientific aids would like to have a look at the garage door today so would we mind not touching it or securing it until they had been. They were also now classing it not as willful damage but as an attempted break in so there will be no problem in getting our insurance company to pay up.

I’ll give you an update tomorrow.


Monday, November 19, 2007

All the fours

It’s been a quite week so as there isn’t anything exciting to report I thought I’d pinch Paul and Jenny’s ‘four things’ blog.

Four jobs I’ve done
Clerk typist
Civil servant (child benefit)
Civil servant (compensation recovery unit)

Four films I’ve watched more than once
White Christmas
Singin’ in the rain
High society
The sound of music

Four places I’ve lived
New Herrington
Sunderland (twice)

Four DVD’s I watch
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes I’m still sad….)
Quantum Leap

Four places I’ve travelled to
America (East and West coast)

Four of my favourite foods
Cheese, especially Wenslydale and Cheshire

Four places I’d rather be right now
On a Silversea cruise
On a Silversea cruise
On a….
You get the picture ! ! !

Four things I’m looking forward to
Our cruise in May
A brand new kitchen next summer
Winning the lottery….

Four books I’m reading at the moment
The diary of a provincial lady by E. F. Delafield
Life below stairs in the twentieth century by Pamela Horn
How We Lived Then: A History of Everyday Life During the Second World War by Norman Longmate
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

Four Shakespeare plays that I’ve seen at the theatre
Richard II
Richard III
A midsummer night’s dream

Four occupations I wanted to be or wish I could have been
Needlework teacher
Fashion/knitwear designer
Prosecuting lawyer (my motto – they’re guilty until proven innocent….)


Monday, November 12, 2007

They don’t make things like they used to

When we got engaged my godfather, who was clearing out his mam’s house as she had just died, asked if I would like her old ironing board.

It was a little rusty and rather heavy to lift but other than needing a new cover it would do fine until I got round to getting a replacement.

Nearly 11 years later and I finally bought a new one.

This morning the ironing board collapsed whilst I was ironing. One second it’s up and the next the board, the t-shirt I was busy ironing and the iron are flat on the floor. Thankfully I managed to pick up the iron before it did any damage to the carpet.

It would seem that two welds on one set of legs had come away.

Having a pile of ironing still to do and no board I improvised – the piano stool and a dining room chair ! ! !


Saturday, November 10, 2007

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

Benouville Cemetery, Normandy

Why do you still march old man, With medals on your chest ?
Why do you still grieve old man, For those friends you laid to rest ?
Why do your eyes gleam old man, When you hear the bugles blow ?
Tell me why you cry old man, About those days so long ago ?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wine follow up

Following last Wednesday’s wine disaster I’m pleased to report that the carpet is no worse for wear having had a bottle of white wine spilled on it.

‘Sophie’ from Laithwaites rang on Monday to see if we needed the carpet cleaning and was most relived when I said it was fine.

She said she’d arrange for a bottle of wine to be sent to us as an apology for any inconvenience caused.

This morning we took delivery of not one, but four bottles of wine.

Now that’s what I call an apology….


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We've got piles ...

… of soggy kitchen towel following tonight’s wine disaster. We took delivery of two cases of wine today (stocking up for Christmas and all that) and unknown to us both cases has suffered damage in transit.

As I carried one to the cellar or “cupboard under the stairs” as we call it, the bottom fell out and one bottle shattered. All over the new hall carpet. Thankfully it was a bottle of WHITE wine.

As you can see, Marie set to work with kitchen towel and two rolls later the stain has just about gone.

I called Laithwaites, the wine merchant and they were most apologetic. We got a credit for the broken bottle and they have offered to pay for any cleaning that may be necessary.

So much for a certain blogger who says nothing exciting ever happens in the North.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Having A Smurfing Time

We had some problems at work today with a file server product called Pathworks.

Anyone who knows VMS will tell you that when you get a problem with Pathworks it can be a swine to fix. But not of you know Father Abraham – he of The Smurfs fame.

HP (formally Compaq formally Digital) have their Pathworks support in Holland and my contact there, Hans Hosang sounds exactly like Father Abraham. He even has the speech mannerisms. Thankfully he didn’t sing any Smurf songs. He fixed my problem though.

On a slightly geeky note, here’s a little something for those of you who want to test their mechanical aptitude. I scored 86.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


When we arrived back from Newport conference I found an envelope waiting for me from the General Records Office. It was a copy of my Nana Dinah’s birth certificate.

She was born on 8th May 1899 and her mothers name was Elizabeth Thompson. Her fathers details were left blank. Which means she was probably illegitimate.

I tried tracing her on the 1901 census but couldn’t find her so did a trace on her mother. It turns out that who ever had transcribed the details of the census had made a typological error and had them both down as the surname of Robson. The Robson comes from a William Robson who was a border in the household.

So this now leads me down a different route, as I had originally thought that one of the two Dinah Thompson’s I found who were both born in 1899 and living in Northumberland or Yorkshire, was my grandmother.

I’ve traced the Thompson family back to the 1861 census but that’s as far I’ve got.

I don’t have a problem with Dinah being illegitimate but I am frustrated that I have now lost one branch of the family tree as I will never know who her father was.

What’s more, at aged 28, my great grandmother should have known better ! ! ! ! !


Monday, October 15, 2007

Alive and kicking

We’re both still here only we are, and have been, pretty busy what with one thing and another – manly to do with conference…

I’m pleased to report that John has managed to fix my computer so it’s even better than it was before.

Regarding the Thistle hotel booking business. One week on and no payment has come out of my account so fingers crossed everything is fine.

I’m pleased to report that there hasn’t been another time of the month hormone episode. The chocolate and wine must have done the trick.

I’m still on the ‘totm’ (mine of late have been lasting over two weeks. They are hopefully about to change thanks to a trip to the family planning last Tuesday – that in itself is a blog but I think that might be ‘too much information’…), so lets hope I don’t need lots of chocolate and wine this weekend at Newport ! ! !

Finally received my Nana Dinah’s death certificate. She died at home on 14th July 1941 from ‘auricular fibrillation’ (in other words a heart attack) brought on by ‘mitral stemosis’. I did a bit of research on the internet and it seems that it’s a heart disease and the primary cause of it is rheumatic fever in childhood.

Must dash as I’ve still got a bit of printing to do for the conference packs…


Monday, October 08, 2007

A s***ty day

Apologies for the lack of blogs over the past week or so. There hasn’t been much to tell really.

Still waiting on the death certificate for my Nana Dinah (sorry for being a bit morbid but I need it to confirm her date of birth. Once I have that I can then obtain her full birth certificate …). Also no word from Beamish about the Pit Cottages as the curator is currently on holiday.

Without any actuate information I’ve only been able to do a rough trace of my family tree. If everything is correct then my ancestors on the Thompson side originated from Northumberland and from Yorkshire on the Archer side. I’ve yet to tackle things on my mam’s side.

Anyway about my s***ty day. Newport conference is coming up shortly so things are getting a little busy in the BOGOF household. Last night while the printer was busy churning away, I decided to look on the internet for some hotels in Heathrow as we have to have an overnight halt there when we go on our cruise next year.

I found the hotel we used the last time ‘The Thistle’ but following reviews from previous guests they only gave it 6/10. I did searches on other hotels near the airport but the other hotels were either too far out of Heathrow or were ridiculously expensive.

This morning while I was doing more printing I decided to have another look at the reviews of the Thistle. It turned out that the guests either loved the hotel or really slated it for piffling little things – the hotel didn’t provide toothbrushes or the hospitality tray in the room didn’t have their favourite kind of coffee, etc. So I decided to book it via one of the discount hotel websites.

By then the printer decided it needed a new toner cartridge so I move it forward a couple of inches to open the front and take out the old one. For no apparent reason my computer shut down, then rebooted saying their was an error with the computer. I tried switching it off but nothing happened. I eventually pulled the plug out and restarted it again. Yep, the error message came on again.

Now bearing in mind Newport conference is less than 10 days away having a dead computer isn’t really something I wanted…. Thankfully we have more than one computer in the BOGOF household so I fired up John’s computer to send him a mail asking for help or suggestions on how to bring back to life my computer.

Only one problem, I didn’t know his work email address as he’s only down in my address book as ‘John (work). B**** ! ! !

I know. I’ll fire up my laptop, connect it to the network and send him a mail from that. The network wouldn’t connect….. Double B**** ! ! !

All wasn’t lost as I now had John’s work email address on my laptop so could sent him a mail via his computer using my Yahoo email address.

I finished my email and started typing in ‘John’ in the sender box when it asked me if I wanted to send it to John at work… Triple B**** ! ! !

John came back to say sorry but he couldn’t help at the moment but would have a look at it tonight.

Back to the Thistle booking and I realised that I hadn’t been given a reference number or received an email confirmation to my Yahoo email address. Still on John’s computer I found the website again and rang the number on their website. It was a different discount hotel company…. Quadruple B**** ! ! !

I rechecked the website again and it still only had one number so I rang it again. They still had not record of my booking and suggested I contacted my bank to see if payment had been taken out of my account – I used my switch card as I refused to pay the 2.5% surcharge for using credit cards.

I rang the bank but they said it could take a couple of days for any payment to go through and there was no way it could be stopped. Quintuple B**** ! ! !

The website did have an email address so I sent them a mail asking if they would ring me. As yet no reply or phone call. Sextuple B**** ! ! !

As far as I know the booking could have been made and everything is hunky dory, however I simply don’t know. I’ll wait and see if payment has been taken then ring the hotel to see if we appear on their system. If it was a fraudulent company at least we haven’t lost that much money. Septuple B**** ! ! !

When John arrived home he was greeted with a hormonal woman (time of the month imminent) so ended up with a rather damp shoulder.

So what of my computer. John’s managed to get it up and running in safe mode to enable him to back up all my documents. He’ll then start rebuilding my machine.

After the day I’ve had alcohol and chocolate is a big must ! ! ! ! ! !


ps As I tried to log in to blogger, the laptop crashed ... Arrrgh

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family tree

Last year I mentioned that I’d like to trace my family tree, in particular my Nana Dinah, my paternal grandmother. Well I’ve made a start.

As no one knew the correct spelling of ‘Dinah Thompson’ I thought it best to get a copy of my dad’s full birth certificate. I printed off the form from Sunderland Council’s website, sorted out the cheque etc and put the envelope to one side ready for posting.

I noticed on the council’s website that you could search for marriage details so as a long shot I thought I’d do a search for Nana Dinah. I couldn’t believe it when they had a record of a ‘Dinah Thompson who married a John Archer in 1926’. What’s more she was also known as ‘Nutley’. So instead of asking for my dad’s birth cert, I asked for their marriage certificate instead.

The form was posted second class last Thursday, with a second class SAE enclosed. It arrived last Saturday. Well done the Royal Mail ! ! !

From the information on the certificate I’ve found out that her ‘father’ was in fact her step-father – an Arthur Nutley – hence her other name. She was a bit older than my grandfather (he 22, she 27) which means that she’ll be included in the 1901 census.

Her address was given as ‘27 Francis Street, Eppleton’. These houses have long since been demolished. However my mam did a bit of research and it turns out that some of the houses in Francis Street were dismantled and rebuilt at Beamish Open Air Museum as part of their Pit Cottage Village. How spooky is this. At the beginning of September John, my mam and me spent a day at Beamish as we hadn’t been for years, and we actually were in the very same cottages ! ! ! !

I contacted Beamish and asked if they knew which numbers were dismantled. Unfortunately they rebuilt the six cottages using bits and pieces from twelve cottages However they have details on all twelve residents of the cottages so are going to see if anyone of them belonged to my great grandparents.

Having trailed through the records on the Ancestry website I’ve managed to find out the approximate date when Dinah died so have ordered a copy of her death certificate.

I’m a bit sad though that my dad spent his life not knowing anything about his mother and sadly is no longer with us to share the news.


Friday, September 28, 2007

M42 Overload

Not much blogging (or is it Bloggery) lately as we’ve been on the road a lot. We’ve just got back home from the National Venue Show at the NEC and I can tell you we are sick and tired of the M42.

Back at the end of August we had a few days away and our hotel was just off the M42 junction 4. Then last weekend we attended a meeting of the HBA Events team, in Solihull, just off the M42 junction 5. And yesterday we were at the NEC, which is just off the M42, junction 6.

To make matters worse, in three weeks time it will be the HBA autumn conference in Newport, and guess which route we will be taking. You guessed it - via the bloody M42 …

But back to the plot. The Venue Show was very interesting, and it was great to attend an event at the NEC where you don’t have to fight your way through crowds. We came away with some interesting ideas for conference venues, though I don’t think we’ll be using the five star hotel in St Petersburg. At least not until Easyjet do cheap flights.

Amazingly, and this will probably only interest hospital radio folks, but we met one exhibitor who knew Trevor Walters, and another who has friends at Radio Link.

In the next hall was the National Incentive Show where we picked up loads of ideas for “interesting” things to put in conference packs. We were weighed down with brochures and give-aways when we left.

And finally, Marie has had her new car for less than two weeks now, and it’s already got 1000 miles on it. And the horn has stopped working !!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Windy in Fulwell

As you know we always seem to be on a diet. To be fair the Weightwatchers diet we tried a couple of years ago resulted in both of us successfully losing two stone each. We’ve both however put it back on but that’s another matter…

Like all diets you soon become bored with it so I decided to look for another one which would fit in with our lifestyle (able to each chocolate, crisps, cheese, alcohol etc).

It seemed like a tall order but I’ve found one. It’s the ‘So you want to loose weight… for good’ by the British Heart Foundation. It not only allows you to have a small chocolate bar and a glass of wine a night, it also allows you to have two (or three if you’re a man) portions of dairy so we can nibble on 40g’s worth of cheese a day without worrying about our waistline.

Plus we have to eat seven (or eight if you’re a man) portions of carbohydrate a day so if we fancy our cheese with three crackers, we can.

The down side to being able to eat yummy food on this diet is we have to eat seven (or eight portions if you’re a man) of fruit and/or vegetables a day. Even by a person who loves fruit (but not really vegetables…) that’s a lot to eat in one day. However we’re trying our best.

Consequently our gut is working overtime so the wind we are producing is spectacular ! ! ! ! It’s now got to the point where we can’t go up the stairs together in case the one in front break wind on route….

Hopefully it will settle down shortly. Otherwise there could be some embarrassing moments in Newport ! ! ! !


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Splat Splat

We had a drive-by saucing outside work on Thursday.

Yes, really. A group of people were standing outside the gates having a smoke when a car drew up. Down came the window and the passenger produced an industrial sized squeezy ketchup bottle with which he proceeded to spray everyone.

Fortunately the majority of people were machinists who would be wearing overalls, but one poor soul had to go home and change.

Yesterday someone expressed the opinion that it’s just as well the factory is in a poor area. They can’t afford guns …


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So what have we been up to

Saturday: had a nice leisurely stroll up to Sea Road for some yummy sausages and peas pudding* from the best butchers in the world, then it was off to the Deli for the best stottie** sandwiches in the world.
The afternoon was spent having a good clearout of rubbish ready for the little bin men coming tomorrow to take away the old sofa and armchair and other various bits of things.
Watched the last night of the proms and as usually felt extremely proud to be British…

Sunday: It was my 39th birthday… One year until I reach the big 40 ! ! ! The birthday bunny was exceptionally generous so I got loads and loads of books, a couple of DVD’s (Season four of Quantum Leap and Mrs Miniver), and some dressmaking fabric.
Decorated my birthday cake with lots of chocolate buttons and crushed up flakes. Take it from me it was yummy….
As we couldn’t get to the Chinese restaurant (they don’t open on Sunday’s) I decided instead of going elsewhere to have dinner at home. We feasted on chips, the yummy sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans and peas pudding. To say we were stuffed would be an understatement. To round off the night we have a bottle of Fizzy.
Couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday.

Monday: Called off to my mams with some birthday cake. She couldn’t wait until Friday.

Yesterday: Took delivery of my new 19 inch flat screen computer monitor and a Windows upgrade. I decided to spend some of the Christmas money I got from my mam last year. I’m afraid I’m a sad specimen of a woman as up until now I couldn’t think of anything to spend it on ! ! !

Today: John (with me supervising/getting in the way …) dragged the old sofa and armchair and the rest of the rubbish out into my side of the garage for the little bin men coming tomorrow. I parked my car at the front early this morning to make sure of getting a space in front of the house.

So there you have it. Another exciting couple of days in the BOGOF household…


*A local delicacy made from ham or bacon and split peas
** Another local delicacy

Friday, September 07, 2007

New sofa

We got our new sofa and armchair delivered on Wednesday and it’s huge… Granted I’m not a tall person, but I can lie down without my head and feet touching the armrests.

Like previous events, however (my new car and living/dining room carpet) things didn’t go smoothly. As soon as the little man removed the packaging from the chair, I noticed three dents in one of the side panels and one of the seams was twisted. The sofa, having had a good examination, was declared fit and well…
A little man came out this afternoon to inspect the chair and having lifted the side panel found three stray staples. So with the help of my iron, the three dents and the twisted seam were ironed out.

As we’re now all encourage to ‘recycle or reuse’ I rang the local house clearance people to see if they wanted the old sofa and chair. They said no as they already had plenty. I then rang another place which was recommended by the council. They too said no as it didn’t have a fire certificate…. So much for recycling ! ! !

In other news. Our ‘new neighbours’ have sold their house ! ! ! We had our first conversations with them and they are moving because they want a garden. Subject to everything going through ok, our ‘new, new neighbours’ will be a family with two children.

I went to the doctors this morning and while she was examining me (women’s problems….) I felt a bit embarrassed about the size of my stomach. It’s expanded seeing as we’re on holiday at the moment and have been eating out a fair bit.
I was told not to worry about it as she believes people worry too much about their weight (this coming from an extremely thin doctor…). She said it was expected at holiday and Christmas time to put on weight so I was given permission to put on half a stone each time.

Who am I to go against medical advice ! ! ! !


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Carpet wrong

We had a telephone call from Allied Carpet yesterday. There’s now another delay with our new carpet. Apparently we’ve order an ‘unusual colour’ so it’s going to take even longer than anticipated so it can’t be fitted on the 4th.

To say we’re not amused would be an understatement. If they had been a little more honest with us in the first place and said there was a problem, we’d have chosen another carpet. However they chose to fob us off with one excuse after another.

So the little man was told in no uncertain terms that I was cancelling the order. We’ve decided to wait a few months and let the new sofa settle into it’s new home before getting a new carpet.

As we bought the carpet using a credit card, Allied would only give us a refund back onto that card. This meant that we would be in credit by rather a lot of money. No worries…. I’m a woman so spending money is not a problem.

So among other things, we are now the proud owner of a brand new 32 inch television ! ! !


Monday, August 27, 2007

A little later than planned

I’m getting a new car. A blue Nissan Note. It really should have been green this time as I alternate between blue and green but they don’t do green Notes…

It was due in the showroom on 22nd August and to me on 3rd September. Unfortunately there has been a slight delay so I won’t now get it until 15th September at the earlier. A little disappointing but it can’t be helped.

Back in July we ordered a new living and dining room carpet. The little man from Allied said it would only take three weeks. This was ideal as we’re getting a new sofa and it’s due to arrive anytime after 4th September.

Three weeks came and went but no sign of the carpet. The little man I spoke to said it would be here the following week. Nearly six weeks later and still no carpet.

I rang them again (with the customer from hell on standby….), explaining that the carpet must be down by 4th September otherwise I’m cancelling the order. There is no way the carpet fitters are putting their grubby little hands on my new sofa ! ! !

Allied rang back. There has been a problem with the cutting machine in the warehouse so our carpet is due to be cut next week. The little man has arranged for it to be delivered to the store on 3rd September and fitted on 4th.

I do hope for their sake there isn’t a problem getting it delivered from the warehouse to the store…..


PS Don’t worry if you don’t hear from us for a while as we started our holiday on Friday night. Yippee ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Thursday, August 23, 2007

For sale – one house hardly been used

This afternoon a ‘for sale’ board went up outside our new neighbours house. After giving us a year of hell demolishing the house from within, they are now selling up.

To be honest it doesn’t surprise me as they seemed a couple who had no intention of staying in one place for very long.

In their short period in Neale Street they haven’t gone out of their way to be friendly. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a smile or a hello from either of them. We didn’t even get a Christmas card from them ! ! !

So here are some of the things I won’t be missing when they leave.

The herd of elephants running up and down the stairs.

Him coughing his guts up when he has a shower first thing in a morning.

Bob and Mrs Builder (her mam and dad) always arguing when they come on a Thursday to do the housework.

Bob and Mrs Builder arguing when they come to drop off the ironing.

Bob and Mrs Builder arguing anytime they come.

Their every meal from the microwave. No matter what they have it always takes eight minutes to cook.

Her car remote setting off our phantom door bell.

Their horrendous car parking.

Their slamming of doors.

Bob the Builders fetish with power tools and making a lot of noise.

Wonder how long it’ll take for them to move out….


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Competent my ****

All this week Davina McCall is standing in for Ken Bruce on Radio 2 and boy is she terrible ! ! ! !

I had the misfortune to hear her previous attempt at broadcasting when she presented ‘Steve Wright Sunday Love Songs’ a while ago and she was just as dreadful then.

After only ten minutes on Monday morning I couldn’t stand it any longer so switched off. Imagine if you will a very excitable sixteen year old who has just started hospital radio and wants to be a ‘DJ’, yet she’s so horrendous that no amount of training will make her even barely acceptable.

She was so awful that I actually complained to the BBC about her. Today I received a reply from them. As expected they said whilst they valued my opinion, they stand by their decision to appointed her as Ken’s replacement as it was based on her experience and talent, and that they considered her competent and had the necessary ability to do the programme.

If this is the standard of presenters Radio 2 are employing, I will definitely be taking my custom else where…


Sunday, August 19, 2007

We should have stayed for lunch after all

We’ve arrived home from a great weekend away. It was Jenny’s birthday almost-barbecue. I say almost because the weather tried, but failed miserably to ruin the weekend. OK, no barbecue, but still a great night with great friends.

We were also invited to join everyone for Sunday lunch but had to decline as I had to refit the interior doors in Marie’s mothers house after the carpet fitters had done their work.

Only it didn’t work out like that. As the hotel were wanting an extortionate amount of money for breakfast we decided on an Olympic Breakfast at the Little Chef at Trowel Services. It’s not there anymore. So we decided to head on up the M1 until we found a service area that did have a Little Chef. We had passed junctions 26, 27 and 28 when we found the motorway closed and we were diverted off via Chesterfield. The route into town was a decent dual carriageway so it looked like it was going to be just a minor diversion but the road out of Chesterfield to junction 30 was single carriageway with traffic lights and roadworks. It took us 90 minutes to cover seven miles. Then when we got back on the M1 we found three lanes of traffic almost at a standstill. This continued all the way up to the junction with the M18.

We finally got home at 5:15, having set off at 10:00 giving us an average speed of about 25 miles per hour. Obviously I didn’t get to fit the doors. Tomorrow night will have to do. Now had we gone for lunch we would probably have missed the delays and got home at about the same time, but with the bonus of a good lunch with our friends.

And if you’re wondering, Yes – we did get our Olympic Breakfast, at a Travellodge on the A61 on the outskirts of Chesterfield.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For Sale - One Careful Owner

Over the years many of our blog readers have stayed at the Pullman Hotel on the sea front. It’s now undergoing a radical make-over (not before time I hear some of you say).

The Pullman carriages that formed the restaurant and reception are up for sale on Ebay. If you’re interested you can find them here.


For sale – one hairdryer…

…hardly used.

I tried. I really tried, but I couldn’t put up with my ‘long hair’ any longer so got it cut short yesterday morning.

The back isn’t as short as when Gillian, my usual hairdresser cuts it. However I’m happy with the result.

I think this hairdresser was wary of cutting it too short seeing as I was a new customer. She kept apologising for the amount she cut off and I kept replying ‘you can go shorter if you like….’.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's why I work in IT

Have you ever had your computer go wrong at work and have to call IT to fix it ?

Did they cycle the power – I mean switch it off and back on again. And did that work ?

Cycling the power is no trivial thing. It requires the ability of a trained and skilled operative.

Many many years ago I was sent to London to attend a computer operators course and most of the first day was spent learning just that, the right way to cycle the power. How to hold the breaker, how to move it, what to do if it resists when resetting, and what to do if it jumps back out again. The answer to the last part is that during the day you summon an engineer and if it’s night shift you go home.

Armed with this highly specialised knowledge I knew exactly what to do on Monday night when the television in the BOGOF household misbehaved.

It was, though a strange problem. We were watching a documentary about space flight and the loss of the shuttle Columbia. At the point where the Flight Director realised something terrible had happened the picture changed to black and white – for dramatic effect we thought. Not so. Come the ad break and it was still in black and white. So were all the other channels. The teletext was still in colour as were all the on screen displays. Most odd. Loss of chrominance or something similar.

But I’m a computer specialist, not a television repair man so I set to work. Power off, count to ten, power on. No change. Time for a switch to a mode two methodology. Power off, disconnect from mains, count twenty, reconnect to mains, power on. Success. Colour was restored.

I wouldn’t like to guess how long it will last though. The set is twelve years old so we may need to replace it soon. Looks like we’ll have to move into the 21st century with a silver grey flat screen model or something.

More BOGOF news later.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Where has the time gone

You must be really sick of me saying ‘sorry for the lack of blogs’ so I won’t say it…

So what’s to report.

Thursday 26th July: Mustn’t have done anything exciting as I can’t remember! ! !

Friday 27th July: Went to my mams and her new fire had just arrived. It looks really nice next to the black speckled granite (see July 4th blog).

I had meant to blog about this but never got round to it. She put the fear of God into the company about her slate having no veins so they asked her to come and personally choose the bit she wanted. Apparently they all had veins in (or just enough to annoy my mam anyway) so she went back to her original choice of black granite.

Saturday 28th July: Went to Leeds to meet with Sean and Iain about next years hospital radio awards. On the way home from Durham railway station called off at the Wessington pub for something to eat. We had to as it was too early to go home... It’s the air show weekend and as the police close off a lot of the roads, it’s practically impossible to get in or out of the area between 10am and 7.30pm.

Sunday 29th July: Day 2 of the air show so we’re prisoners for the day. John did a bit of DIY to the drawers in the dining room for when we get the new carpet. I went for a bath to easy my back. I set it off on Friday and it was still playing up.

Had a lovely carpet picnic on the dining room floor listening to some music. Alan and Alison (next door upwards) are away until August 13th so thought this would be a great time to see how loud we can stand the music before our eardrums start to bleed. We weren’t bothered about disturbing next door downwards. It’s called pay back time ! ! !

Monday 30th July: As John wasn’t able to get his actual birthday off work, today is his ‘official birthday’. So after a long lie in we went to the Chinese for lovely meal – a always. For a late tea I made pancakes, yum, yum…

Tuesday 31st July: My car’s first MOT and it passed with flying colours. Rang the little man about my new car and it’s due to arrive at the garage on 22nd August.

Yesterday: Made some tomato soup. The rest of the day was spent designing a narrow boat, Ludwell village and a barrel roof cottage... They’re for my novel.

Today: Still designing the cottage, though having problems on where to put the windows and the AGA… Did the biography of one of the characters and felt a bit guilty ‘getting to know him’ when he’s going to be killed off half way through the book.

As usual went shopping tonight at Morrisons and met Kevin and Maria who live over the road. Stood ages having a good gossip about Greg and Kay who live next door to Kevin and Maria. He left her a couple of weeks ago and we were just asking each other if we knew any more details…

So that was the week that was.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Has it really been a week

I’ve just checked and it’s been a week since we blogged so apologies for that….

So what’s to report from the BOGOF household.

Thursday: went shopping with my mam to the Metro Centre. We normally go on a Friday but she was going away for the weekend with my sister, brother-in-law and niece to Tatten Park. Apparently it’s a smaller version of Chelsea flower show.

Friday: Did some more work on my novel. Yes I’m finally back into my writing so hopefully will get it finished sometime next year…

Saturday: Had loads of things planned including housework and some DIY but we couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger so spent the day doing nothing ! ! !

Sunday: Again had loads of things planned, some carried over from yesterday but again we couldn’t be bothered so did nothing. Watched a great Grand Prix though. Best one I’ve seen for ages.

Monday: Spent the day writing.

Yesterday: John’s birthday. Poor soul had to go into work as he couldn’t get the day off.
Had a couple of bits of shopping to do, like buy yummies for John’s birthday dinner and a new hairdryer from ARGOS.
Had a run in with a blonde driver (apologies if you’re reading this and are a female blonde). To cut a very long story short, she was blocking a road and refused to reverse. A woman resident tried to get her to move, even treating her with the police but she refused. Eventually I had to drive diagonally into a space about the size of a postage stamp and prayed she wouldn’t take my car back end off. To say I had steam coming out of my ears was an understatement.
For the first time in goodness how many years I dried my hair using a hairdryer. One thing I had forgotten was my hair is quite thick and hairdryers have a tendency to create volume so my hair has increased in size somewhat ! ! !
Had a lovely birthday dinner and evening with John.

Today: Did some more writing.

So there you have it…


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And then there were none

An update on the three baby seagulls. On Sunday afternoon one of them took it’s maiden flight and investigated the back lane, under the watchful eye of mum and dad.

By Monday evening another one had found it’s wings so that just left mum and number three in the nest. We think dad must be in charge of teaching the other two to swim…

When I checked this morning it looked like mum and number three had finally joined the rest of the family for swimming lessons, as the nest was empty and there’s been no sign of life ever since.

Who needs Bill Oddie and Spring Watch ! ! !


Sunday, July 15, 2007

He must have a death wish

John’s battery in his mobile phone isn’t keeping it’s charge so I asked if he’d like the Birthday bunny to buy him a new one.

He found one that he liked from T-Mobile website so I ordered it on behalf of the Birthday bunny. It arrived, along with a letter saying the £10 top-up credit that I had to buy with the phone, had automatically been credited to the new mobile phone number.

As John wanted to keep his existing SIM I rang T-Mobile and asked if it could be possible to transfer the credit to his existing number. The little man I spoke to was extremely snotty. Apparently it was not their policy to transfer credits so his attitude was tough…

I asked to speak to a manager as the website made no reference to the £10 automatically being credited to the new phone. If I had known this was going to happen I would have bought the phone elsewhere. He refused.

I asked again very nicely to speak to a manager, Again he refused and then started arguing with me big time. At the third time of asking to speak to a manager he deliberately cut me off.

As Dr Bruce Banner from the Incredible Hulk says, ‘don’t make me angry, you won’t like me when I’m angry’. Yep, guess who appeared, the Customer from Hell ! ! !

I rang T-Mobile again and asked ‘Pat’ very nicely if I could speak to a manager as I had a lot of shouting to do and she wasn’t paid enough to be shouted at.

She was more than happy for me to speak to a manager, but as they operate a call back system, it would be at least four hours before a manager would get back to me, so asked if she could help speed up my query.

I explained about the £10 credit but I was more concerned about making an official complaint regarding the guy I’d spoken to. Although it is their policy not to transfer credits, they have the authority do so in certain circumstances and as their website hadn’t explained what would happen to the £10 and as an apology for their bad customer service, she was prepared to do so.

However transferring the £10 wasn’t quite that simple. I knew John’s mobile phone number but didn’t know his password. Well actually I did, but she couldn’t tell me that it had three letters missing from the end as their passwords will only allow six characters.

So I had to give her John’s work number so she could speak to him direct. He then had to ring me to let me know his password so when she rang me back I could give her the details – I do hope you’re keeping up….

If that wasn’t enough John had to phone me at home from his mobile so she could verify that he really was who he said he was – apparently they are able to track what calls are made.

Having proved that John really was John and given her the correct password, the £10 was transferred to his original SIM.

As for the nasty little man, an official complaint was made and even though I only knew his first name, every call and telephone number are logged so it won’t be hard to find the guilty person.

Hah, that’ll teach him to upset the customer from hell ! ! !


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A threat to national security

That’s what the passport office thinks of John’s glasses…

He sent in his passport for renewal and they have rejected his photograph on the grounds that his glasses are too small. They claim that they obscure his eyes and are therefore a threat to national security.

I’ve looked at his photograph in more detail and his eyes are perfectly visible. Knowing the Civil Service the way I do, they would probably have scanned the image and found it to be a thousandth of a millimetre below their guideline….

They have suggested John may like to remove them the next time. Given that glasses can change a person’s appearance, isn’t that a stupid suggestion considering this pathetic government will be introducing new ID passports at the end of the year. You know, the one’s that Hitler would have been proud of…

What next, will they be asking Colonel Dick (‘It’s not easy being green’) to shave off his moustache as it obscures his top lip.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bonk, bonk, BOING

We’ve bought a new bed. To look at it’s just an ordinary bed. Five feet wide with drawers underneath, but it hides a secret. It’s decided that all who sleep in it must be chaste at all times.

When we have a cuddle and a couple of good night kisses before settling down to sleep, the bed’s fine. However when we want to take things further so to speak, the bed BOINGS.

It’s very off-putting, not to mention hysterically funny when you’re trying to be romantic and all you hear is kiss BOING kiss BOING kiss BOING.

We’ve even tried to pretend we’re saying goodnight but it’s no fool. It knows what we’re up to and BOING BOING.

I’ve heard of a chastity belt but never a chastity bed ! ! !


Saturday, July 07, 2007

A tipping we shall go

As mentioned yesterday we spent the day doing a mini spring clean following the arrival of the new carpet.

Poor Noo-Noo* worked it’s little socks off picking up all the new carpet bits.

Once the housework was done we then had three trips to the council tip to dispose of all the bits of carpet, old and new.

Tomorrow thankfully is going to be a day of rest as we flick through the various television channels to watch the men’s final at Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Tour de France.

Who’s bright idea was it to have them all on at the same time ! ! !


*Our vacuum cleaner named after the one in the Telebubbies…

Friday, July 06, 2007

Out with the old… with the new.

Our new hall and stair carpet was fitted this afternoon. I was told the carpet fitters would arrive by mid morning but they didn’t show up until 1.45pm. The customer from hell was on standby ready to shout at the little man from Carpet Right if they hadn’t come.

Not to disappoint the customer from hell she did make a slight appearance when one of the little fitters asked if he could have the door plates (the thing that butts two pieces of carpet together). I didn’t have them and neither did he.

It turns out that the little man hadn’t ordered any for us. Was not amused as John had removed the old ones yesterday when he took up the carpet. It has though saved us money as Carpet Right charge £8 per plate whereas the little fitter said we could get them from any DIY place for a lot less money.

The carpet looks nice with the brown and ivory paintwork, and we're glad that we removed the old brown paint as it would never had stood up to the roughness of the fitters.

Now all we have to do is clean up…


Thursday, July 05, 2007


Today was my mobile hairdresser last visit before she goes off on maternity leave.

The last time Gillian went on maternity leave I didn’t get my hair cut for at least three months as I hate anyone cutting my hair other than her. However as I began looking like a female vicar I had no option but to get it cut.

This time I’ve decided to let it grow in the hope that I can avoid the female vicar look again.

There is however one flaw to this plan. I haven’t had ‘long’ hair for years so won’t be able to ‘wash and go’ for very much longer, which means I’ll need to dry it with a hairdryer. I do have a dryer but I haven’t the faintest idea where it is ! ! !

Once I find it I have no guarantee that it’ll work – shows how long I’ve had it. So I’m going to have to buy a new one and this is where I start to panic.

There are so many to choose from and each with descriptions that I haven’t a clue what they are on about. Such as: ion generator; ionic conditioning; variable ionic; cool shot button; hinged rear filter; diffuser and concentrator attachments; salon cable.

I must becoming a gummy old woman as all I want is a simple hairdryer that does what it says on the tin…


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

But you wanted granite

As mentioned on Sunday my mam wanted me to take her looking for more granite today. I have to admit I was sorely tempted to take Jenny up on her offer…

For a start my mam didn’t know where the place was. Well that’s not quite true. She had been there once but it was raining and things look different when it’s raining apparently…

The A to Z wasn’t really much help as a huge retail park had been built since my edition was printed so things weren’t as they should be.

All I had to go on was ‘if you get to Tesco’s roundabout then you’ve missed it’. We visited Tesco’s roundabout several times as I couldn’t find the place.

I asked my mam if she could remember anything that was familiar. She couldn’t. Not wanting to visit Tesco’s roundabout again we pulled into a builders yard and asked for directions.

It was all coming back to her now, ‘Oh I remember we turned left at this pub’…

Anyway we found the place.

Last Friday she wanted granite as she didn’t like marble. She wanted black but not too black; the pattern couldn’t be too big but neither could it be too small; it could not have any green or blue in it as she didn’t like them colours. She did find one that she sort of liked but said no because they didn’t have a huge slab for her to look at – she wanted to see the full sheet of granite, not just the 12 by 12 inch sample.

The first sample she really liked was a green patterned piece of granite – she’s now gone off black. Then she like a brown and cream patterned piece of marble – she’s now likes marble. She also liked a green piece of slate – not sure where that fits into things ! ! !

She asked if she could have samples of the marble and slate as she wanted to see which would go best with the stove she likes. So off we went to the stove place. Thankfully she had asked directions of where to find it when we were in the builders yard.

She propped up the two samples next to her chosen stove and decided that the green slate looked best. Then she bought the stove.

Back at the granite place she then decided that she wasn’t sure about the slate and asked my advice. I refused on the grounds that if I said yes and she then hates it, I’ll never hear the last of it.

She decides on the slate.

I’m not finished yet…. She then asked the little assistant if she could have a look at the actual slabs of the green slate they would be using as she didn’t want her piece to have any veins in. I did point out that slate was a natural product so veins tended to happen. If it had any veins in, she wasn’t having it.

Having told them where to cut her piece from the slab to avoid the veins she’s ordered the slate. The little assistant then asked her to sign the order sheet to confirm her measurements were correct. She would only do so after the assistant wrote on the sheet that her piece must not have any veins in…

I hope I’m not at my mams when it’s delivered ! ! !


Monday, July 02, 2007

A truly mucky pup

I found this on cute overload and just had to share it with you….

With that expression you couldn’t help but forgive it.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Reporting in

I’m afraid there isn’t really that much to blog about but as they have been a little thin on the ground lately, I thought I better make the effort.

Took mam to look for some granite on Friday and as expected it was traumatic… She wants to go looking for some more on Wednesday, but I really don’t know if my nerves will stand anymore ! ! !

Hardly did a thing yesterday afternoon which made me feel slightly guilty as John was busy painting. Today though the tables have been turned as he spent a leisurely couple of hours watching the Grand Prix while I ironed.

The three baby seagulls are getting much bigger so it probably won’t be long before they take their maiden flight. Camera at the ready…


Thursday, June 28, 2007

So what’s been happening…

… in the Bogof household these past few days.

Monday: Decided to finish off making the summer top I started last year. Judging by the weather I don’t think they’ll get much of an outing, however they will always come in handy for our cruise next year.

Wimbledon started today and as usual it rained.

Oh and we bought a new sofa and armchair….

Tuesday: Did some more sewing in-between watching the tennis and trying to ‘Jan spot’ on court 1.

Rang Carpet Right as their ‘10 – 14 day delivery’ had come and gone with no word from them. They were just about to ring me as it came in yesterday. A likely story ! ! ! So the little carpet fitting men are coming next Friday.

Yesterday: Again did some more sewing in-between watching the tennis. Heard all about Jan’s day out at Wimbledon. I’m not jealous, I’m not jealous, I’M NOT JEALOUS ! ! !

Today: Two tops completed, only another four to go…

Watched Henman’s match. Well not quite true as I fell asleep during the fourth set. I do have a good excuse as I didn’t sleep very well last night as my pains are bad. Some medicinal wine may be called for tonight, me thinks.

Tomorrow: As usual off to my mams and we’re going granite hunting for her new fire surround. I can hardly wait…

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More Deadly ...

Now that the holiday season is almost upon us and our thoughts turn to sun, sand, sea and surf we at the Bogof Blog thought you ought to be made aware of a hidden danger lurking on those tropical beaches. No, it's not the scary shark fin cruising the ocean waves - it's the killer sandcastles.Yes, research in the New England Journal of Medicine found sandcastles are more deadly than sharks.

16 deaths in the US since 1990 were caused by sandcastles, according to Harvard Medical School's Bradley Maron. Compare that to the measly 12 fatalities from shark attacks. Jaws is looking pitifully like a soft-touch.The main hazard appears to be people lethally falling into holes they had dug - presumably for the moat - which means the sandcastles of America must be on a far more impressive scale than the ones seen on the beaches of Sunderland.

More can be found here :

And on the subject of the seaside, do you recall seeing all those television documentaries that tell you that seagulls nest in hollows and crags on cliff faces. Don’t believe a word of it. This is what you can see (with a big lens) from our bedroom window.

There are three little ones, but we rarely see them all together. And there’s always one parent hanging around to see off any intruders.

The proud parents …

On a more mundane note we've repainted the hall and stairs and everything seems much more stable, so we now await the arrival of the carpet fitters.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

A narrow escape

As John was feeling much better yesterday we decided to plod on with step three of the repainting – the matt emulsion stage. It went on really well and after having a short pit stop to watch the start of Le-Mans, we’d finished by four o’clock.

We were just finishing off washing the dinner dishes when John asked if I’d bought the lottery tickets online as we hadn’t had a chance to get to the post office this morning. I’d forgotten ! ! !

It was now 7.20pm and the draw closed as 7.30pm. I dashed upstairs, switched on my computer, wait until it was happy before I logged onto the internet (at times it can be temperamental), prayed that I could remember my lottery password. I then had to add more funds to my account and finally buy not only our ticket but my mams. I did it with four minutes to spare.

When I checked my emails tonight there was a mail from the National Lottery asking me to view my account. I’d won £10 ! ! ! !


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yet another round up of the news

Monday: Spent the morning trying to get the tensions right on my overlocker following John mending it yet again the day before. I’m pleased to report that the air wasn’t blue and I didn’t threaten to throw it out of the window like I normally do when it decides to become temperamental.

You may remember that last August we re-decorate the hall and stairs. To cut a long story short B&Q’s own brand paint doesn’t really like sticking to Crown paint.

As we’re getting a new hall and stair carpet we knew something needed to be done as the paint just wouldn’t stand up to the carpet fitters. We tried putting a coat or two of varnish over it to strengthen it, but it made no difference so it was off to B&Q for advice. They suggested removing their paint, sanding the Crown paint down, put a coat of matt emulsion over the top of it, then reapply their paint.

I know the simplest and easiest option would have been to remove the B&Q paint then use Crown again. However as Crown don’t do the colour we want, unfortunately we have no alternative.

Tuesday: Spent the morning and afternoon removing the B&Q paint and the evening soaking the aching bones…

Wednesday: Spent the morning sanding the paintwork and the afternoon washing every surface known the man as the dust went everywhere ! ! ! It took three goes in the shower to clean my face and four to wash my hair – I was that fifthly…

Thursday: Got a phone call at 7.20am – yes I did say 7.20am – from Comet to say the little delivery man was on his way with the tumbler drier. Really pleased the tumbler arrived early as the old bones were suffering and in desperate need of a hot bath. I was so knackered after my bath that I fell asleep on the bed for a couple of hours ! ! !

Yesterday: Was busy getting ready to go to my mams when John’s car pulled up outside our house. They had sent him home from work as he wasn’t very well. Got him settled into bed then went to my mams.

Today: I’m pleased to report that John’s feeling much better.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Thought I better…

…put fingers to keyboard before Jan complains that we’re boring old farts again by not blogging…

So what’s to report.

Monday: Did five loads of washing and having dried two of those loads, the tumble dryer decided it didn’t want to work anymore, but not before tumbling the third load for 90 minutes in cold air.
So I had three loads of washing to dry. Not easy when you live in a terrace house with only a small yarden* which doesn’t get any wind or sunshine. Thankfully it wasn’t a hot day as I had to resort to putting the heating on and drying the clothes and towels on the radiators.
As the tumbler was over 12 years old and hadn’t been in the best of health for a while, we decided to get a new one.

Tuesday: Bought a new tumbler from Comet and saved £10 and got free delivery (normally it’s £18.95) by ordering via their website and they’ll take away the old one. That wouldn’t have been a problem though as we could have just put it outside for the scavengers…

Wednesday: I was in a cleaning mood so blitzed upstairs and downstairs and whilst cleaning inside the microwave I noticed that some of the enamel (if that’s the right word) was flaking away, leaving bare metal exposed. As metal and microwaves don’t mix, it was off to Comet that evening to buy a new one.

Thursday: Nothing exciting to report.

Friday: Went to the Metro Centre with my mam and as usual she did a couple of ‘motherisms’. One of them was in Marks and Spencers food department when she asked if I wanted any tomatoes**.
The other one is as predicable and much more annoying than been asked if I want any tomatoes. We were in a cafĂ© and having both decided what we wanted, the waitress asked my mam for her order. As always she turned to me and asked ‘what did we want?’.

I got my own back by changing the order.

‘That’s not what we wanted’, replied my mam, changing the order back to what had been originally agreed.
‘If you knew what we wanted in the first place, why did you ask me ! ! !’.

Yesterday: Dropped a load of stuff off at the local charity shop. Mam was having a clearout of old books and jigsaws so asked if we could get rid of them for her.
Then it was off to my mam’s again as she wanted John to have a look at a dripping tap in the kitchen. Five minutes later and the tap was fixed.
Next we went to Carpet Right to order a new hall/stair carpet and buy some off-the-roll carpet for our bedroom.
With me supervising (or more precisely getting in the way…) John managed to get most of the carpet fitted.

Today: The little man from Carpet Right came to measure the hall and stairs for the carpet and John finished fitting the bedroom carpet.

So it’s been quite a busy week for us.


* it’s a small yard with plants in it so we call it a yarden

** for anyone new to the bogof blog, I hate tomatoes and have done for as long as I can remember. My mam knows this yet insists on asking me every time we’re in a fruit and veg department if I would like some.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Famine & Feast

That’s how things have been in the BOGOF household lately – Dull & boring then busy busy busy.

Where were we last time, Oh yes, getting the house painted. No problems there and after a brief tidy up everything looks fine. Had a nice lazy bank holiday where we probably ate too much. The rest of the week was a bit of a blur really.

Marie got down to sorting out all the paperwork before handing the HBA executive administrator and membership managers jobs back. Now “all” she has is conference bookings.

And speaking of conferences we had to go a conference and awards (aka events) team meeting on Saturday. Up at five and on the road just after six to be in Leicester before half past ten. Thankfully the roads were quiet. Met up with June, Paul and Phil and sorted out next years National Hospital Radio Awards (or whatever they might be called) then just time for a quick drink before dinner, then another before bed (It was along day, four hours on the road and a seven hour meeting).

Back home today and it was sorely tempting to knock on Chris & Jenny's door and say “we were just passing” but sadly junction 25 on the M1 was closed. Maybe next time, though by the sound of Jenny’s blog we might have ended up being put to work with a paint brush.

I started off intending to say that blog entry number 200 was coming up and we would have something special, but then I thought, “Bugger – this one is 200”. Oh well. Maybe for 300.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

All Blue Now

Yes, the painter has finished, the roof is mended and our red house is now a blue house. For those in the know, the colour is Oxford Blue, and regular readers will be pleased to know that it's Crown Exterior and not the brand with an X in the name.

So beware next time you visit. Look for the red house and you'll miss us.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Red to blue

The little builder man - and son - came to do the bits of repairs and painting work today.

The red is now undercoat grey with ‘Oxford Blue’ going on tomorrow.

So there you have it. The sum total of a weeks news.

Gosh we really must get out more….


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another couple…

…of relatively quite days.

Saturday: For the first time in goodness knows how many years I actually managed to watch the Eurovision Song Contest live. In the past it’s been recorded as we were either on our way back from the Chimps Tea Party* or down at the Cliff**.
Wasn’t too keen on the winning song, or the act. Extra’s from Prisoner Cell Block H didn’t impress me, and as for the overweight kd Lang look alike… Preferred ‘Timmy Mallet in tin foil’.
Our entry was as ever, spectacularly awful. However there was one which
was even worse – the Irish. We had to put on the ‘singalong’ lyrics to see what language she was actually singing as it certainly didn’t sound like English. It was. For those who didn’t see it, imagine a female Ian Paisley’s voice singing ! ! !

Sunday: Did nothing exciting.

Monday: Sorted out the house insurance renewal and managed to save £100 by switching to Morethan.
Rang the little builder man again to see if he’s found a date in his diary to do the bits of repairs to the outside of the house. Nothing serious just replacing the rotten beading on the ‘/\’ shaped bits at the front and back, and also to give the outside a lick of paint. We’ve decided to go blue this time. The little man is pleased as he doesn’t think red is in keeping with the age and style of the house.

Yesterday: Little builder man rang and he can come sometime next week.

Today: Boots rang to say John’s glasses are ready so have arranged to pick them up on Saturday.

That’s all folks…


*The EC meeting
** Local pub

Friday, May 11, 2007

I can tell you’re not interested

This morning mam asked me if I’d take her to ‘World of Fires’ as she wants to replace her gas fire.

I did feel sorry for the poor assistant as yet again she expected him to be a mind reader. Thankfully however I was able to finish off her sentences so he wasn’t too confused.

Whilst we were there I noticed a lovely slim line electric cast iron stove. Noticing I was drooling over it the assistant gave me the size and the price (sharp intake of breath). Ok it is expensive but it would look so perfect in our living room*.

Excitedly I explained my finding to John.

“It’ll take some major reworking to install it”.
“No, it’s free standing”.
“Yes but where are you going to plug it in”.
“Who said anything about plugging it in. I don’t intend to use if as a fire”.
“So it would just be an expensive ornament”.
“I take it that’s a no then”….


*We removed the hideous old fire so the space is currently being filled by a vase and some wispy things….

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Reporting in

So what’s to report.

Wednesday 2nd: Can’t remember so there mustn’t have been any thing exciting to report…

Thursday 3rd: Rang Boots to arrange two eye test appointments for Tuesday. Did mammoth shopping at Morrisons for the weekend.

Friday 4th: Went to the Childminders and made corned beef pies and tried a new chocolate cake recipe from one of Nigella Lawson’s book. Can’t tell you what it was like at I left it at my mams – it was too hot to transport.

Saturday 5th: Prepared food for the party tonight and lunch tomorrow. Party went really well. Plenty of drink and food…

Sunday 6th: Made Sunday lunch for six people. A sort of Christmas main meal but without the turkey – wrong time of year so couldn’t get one ! ! !
Had a slight panic when I noticed the rings on the AGA weren’t red anymore and the light had gone out on the electric socket. Turns out that it had tripped the breaker. The AGA wasn’t used to having both ovens and all four rings on at the same time.

Bank holiday Monday: Did absolutely nothing…

Yesterday: John’s car in for MOT and service. Got forced off the road at a set of road works by a taxi just because I wouldn’t let him in. Was not amused ! ! ! Got lost trying to find Benfield garage to pick up John, then had to manoeuvre through their tight car park. Was in a fowl mood…
As expected new glasses for John. My eye sight is fine for another two years.
Went to the Chinese on the Sea Front for lunch – and this time it was open.
Pleased to report that John’s car passed it’s MOT.

Today: Did the ironing. Two phantom phone calls. Will take no prisoners when I do eventually get to speak to a human being…


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Schools out

Myself, Jenny and Paul (he who is not Gottle) all would have been in the same year at school and this got me thinking who else would have been in that year.

So here are just some of the ‘blog class of 1985’.

Will Smith
Julia Sawalha
Guy Ritchie
Mika Hakkinen
Matt and Luke Goss
Christy Turlington
Michael Schumacher
R Kelly
David Boreanaz
Jennifer Anniston
Alexander McQueen
Cerys Matthews
Renee Zellweger
Mica Paris
Brian Lara
Cate Blancett
Dennis Bergkamp
Steffi Graf
Tanita Tikaram
Christian Slater
Matthew Perry
Lucy Lui
Brendan Fraser
Stephen Hendry
Anne Heche
Jason Priestly

Interesting line up…


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wedding anniversary

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary. We’re not doing anything special for the occasion. Been there, done that and bought the t-shirt… However we will be having a nice bottle of wine tonight in celebration.

Several years ago when we were still in the ‘let’s buy each other presents for our anniversary’, a package arrived for me from Harrods – yes thee Harrods ! ! !

As we hadn’t exchanged gifts I was really excited as to what John had bought me.

On opening it I found two eye wateringly expensive – think three figure sums each – anti-wrinkle creams ! ! !

Ok, I know I have more grey hairs and wrinkles than John but as I hadn’t yet reached 30, I was not amused…

Thankfully, for John’s sake, it had been sent to me in error. It certainly gave the ladies in Harrods a good laugh when I rang to explain what had happened.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Slip sliding away

That’s exactly what I did in Morrisons tonight.

One minute I was walking next to John and the next I was hanging onto the shopping trolley for dear life trying to keep my balance – and failing – so ended up a heap on the floor…

Nothing unusual in me falling over, but this time it wasn’t my fault. Sticky had slipped on something slippy on the floor.

As soon as it happened one of the floor managers came over and asked if I was ok. There didn’t seem to be any broken bones so I said I was, but pointed out that it had happened because of the slippy floor so he promised to get it cleaned up.

I think I’ll suffer for it tomorrow though as my knee and in particularly my hand, are a bit sore.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It’s Bloggers fault

I said on Sunday I’d let you know on Monday how the patients are in the Harper hospital. I did try – honestly but blogger has been so slow for the past couple of days that it keeps timing itself out.

Anyway here’s what I wrote on Monday and Tuesday.

Today John was over the worse. He was still feeling a little under the weather but was much better than Sunday. I on the other hand feel terrible.

I started off the day ok then gradually went down hill. To make things worse my pains have decided to come out in sympathy too…

Well, I’m feeling how John was yesterday though my throat is still a little sore and I’ve now got a cold.

I do however wish someone though will tell my pains I’m feeling better ! ! !

Now for today:
We’re both keeping each other wake at night coughing and sneezing and going through a nation of hankies.

I’m starting to look like Rudolph as my nose is constantly smothered in Vaseline to try and stop cold sores from appearing.

So there you have it. Bang up-to-date. Was it worth waiting for – I doubt it ! ! !


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wot no blog

Sorry for the lack of blogs but last week wasn’t that exciting, hence nothing to report.

However I can report that today John isn’t feeling so good (man flu..) so is in bed at the moment.

He’s passed his lergy on to me so my throat is pretty sore. If that wasn’t enough I’ve set my neck off* so it’s rather painful whenever I move.

More updates from the Harper Hospital tomorrow.


* 10 years ago I sprained my neck (yes it is possible…) and ever since then I get flair ups.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sea View

We’re having a party in a few weeks time, and several of our friends are staying at a guest house close to the sea front. It’s actually next door to the house where I lived when I was five.

As we were in the area yesterday we took a picture so folks can see what it looks like. I would have included Marie in the picture but seeing as she has a lovely black eye we decided it wouldn’t be a good idea. Don't worry - I haven't been hitting her. It's just a cold sore in an unfortunate position ...

We also took a picture of the sea view, but as you can see it was really rather disappointing. Yesterday was a bit foggy. Good job they don’t call it the “Sea View Guesthouse”.

Here’s a picture of the view when it’s not foggy.

Not much else to report from the Bogof household. Just looking forward to seeing everyone next month.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

New car

I mentioned on last week that I had ordered a new Nissan Note.

With the exception of my two mini’s, all the cars I’ve had have been unexpected choices.

The first was the Fiat Punto. I was looking for a car to replace my second mini. I loved my mini but wanted something a little bit bigger. I needed some inspiration so we went down to the Motor show at the NEC. We visited the various stands and there were a couple I liked – can’t remember which ones they were though…

On our way out we had to pass the Fiat stand and as I’d dismissed them completely, hadn’t bothered looking at them first time round. I’m not sure if I wanted a rest for a few minutes* so we ended up sitting inside a Punto. Everything felt right about it – and it was an automatic. I just knew I had to have it.

Three years later and we were back at the NEC looking for a replacement for the Punto. Fiat had brought out a new version of the Punto and as I’d liked the old one was expecting that one to be my next car. It was awful ! ! ! I did take a fancy to the Daihatsu Terios but it wouldn’t fit in my garage…. However I did like the Peugeot 206 so that became car number four.

When I went looking for car number five I needed something bigger than the 206. We were now organising conferences so needed a car with a large boot. Plus because of my dad’s illness I needed a car big enough to fit a wheelchair in. The three on the short list were the Ford Escort and Fusion and the Vauxhall Astra. So what did I get – a Nissan Almera…

So now we come to car number six. The short list for that was the Citroen C4, the Mazda 3 and at a push the Nissan Note. I knew the Mazda and the Note had the boot space we needed but the Mazda was a bit expensive and the Note, well it’s not the most exciting car to look at…

So that just left the Citroen and if I’m honest that was the car I wanted. It had all the necessary boot space and looked very stylish inside. I really wanted to like the car, even if it did take me 10 minutes to find a comfortable seating position, but there was something not right about it. Reluctantly it was crossed off the list.

As the Citroen dealer is just opposite Nissan we thought we may as well have a quick look at the Note to discount it completely. The boot space was huge, much bigger than all the others. It had more toys than the Citroen and it only took me a couple of clicks and I got the seating position perfect. I had found my next car.

Ok there was one small thing that could have been a deal breaker – they don’t do the colour green… I alternate between blue and green cars and this one should have been green.

Cars seven and eight will have to be green ! ! ! !


* anyone who have been to the NEC will know there aren’t a lot of seats

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The best laid plans

About two weeks ago ‘Barbi’ from Silversea rang to say that next years cruise details had been published.

Saturday was the first chance we had to do some serious looking and one in particular stood out. ‘Barcelona to Rome’ on 29th May 2008 and one of the places it was calling off at was Malta.

They also have a page of special deals for this year and one of them ‘Rome to Monaco’ on 8th June was just too tempting not to do anything about.

On the cruise last year one of the passengers mentioned a couple of cruise companies which specialise in late bookings so I checked out their websites.

Literally less than 10 seconds after I’d pressed submit on the email enquiry form, ‘Helen’ rang me. She needed to contact Silversea so would get back to me on Tuesday.

On Tuesday after several phone calls from Helen and to BA, our cruise was looking very unlikely. To cut a very long story short, BA have stopped flying from Newcastle to Gatwick so this has caused us no end of problems.

Helen, bless her, tried every way possible to get us flights using other airlines or from flying from Heathrow but unfortunately she couldn’t find anything that fitted in with the ships timetable. So rather disappointingly we shall not be going cruising on 8th June.

However I can tell you that after several phone calls and email again from Helen, she has got us a great deal for the cruise on 29th May 2008.

Malta here we come…


Monday, April 09, 2007


At Christmas we got loads of chocolate and like last year we couldn’t eat it all so decided to stash it away until Easter.

Easter has come (and nearly gone…) and it’s still uneaten.

Yes I know we have failed in our duty and feel very ashamed.

In our defence it was the banned weekend* and we had been given an Easter egg from my mam and it would be so ungracious if we didn’t eat it straight way.

So sadly the chocolate (and the Easter fruit cake I baked) have defeated us. However all is not lost as the cake will do for John’s birthday in July and the chocolate may get an outing at the next bank holiday.


* all the yummy food which isn’t allowed on our diet so we have them every bank holiday.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The forgotten city

On Friday night when we went to get our Chinese takeaway we found part of Sea Road was closed due to a fire in one of the buildings.

We couldn’t see which building was on fire but as there were nine fire engines we guessed it must be the chip shop.

Yesterday morning we decided to be nosy so took the long way round to the post office. Sure enough it was the chip shop. The whole building, including the flat above were completely destroyed and the other premises in the block were closed due to smoke damage. There was a ‘lovely’ smell of burnt timber and fat hanging round the street.

It turns out that the fire was started by the hot fat and customers and staff had to flee the building. It was the front page and pages two and three of the Sunderland Echo.

However it never made it onto the local news or teletex. You see Sunderland, even though it’s the biggest city in the North East which does surprise a lot of people, always gets forgotten about. Had the fire started in Newcastle, that would have been a different matter.

It really does annoy us. There’s more to life in the North East then just the Tyne….


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Brethren and their Event

Now finally it came about that Marie and John didst pack up their belongings and travel to the land of Rezidor wherein resides the Park Inn. And the people of the Park Inn didst receive them with honour and they didst show Marie and John and the friends of Marie and John and the friends of the friends of Marie and John great kindness, even the fourteen of the Brethren who had been cast out unto the Ibis which is nearby.

And on the Thursday night some of the friends of Marie and John, including he that is named Phil didst make up the conference packs and they were amazed for they appeared to take up much more space than last year, for the bags were much bigger and there was much consternation for they feared that they would not fit in the office.

Now on Friday Marie and John didst set up their conference reception from whence Marie should greet the Brethren as they completed their great journeys to the land of Rezidor. And when the Brethren saw the hotel they were glad, for it was much better than the comments on the Ebookers website had told them.

Also on Friday the emissary of the tribe of Cosmic didst arrive and was taken to the place where the awards would be distributed and he was glad also. But when the rest of the tribe of Cosmic came they were troubled, for the room looked much smaller than they had first thought. And so it came to pass that they didst toil mightily all night to build their set.

Now while the tribe of Cosmic were striving to build their set, Chris, and Jenny, and Paul who is also called Gottle didst arrange for a quiz to question and confound the brethren, and the Brethren heard the quiz of Chris and Jenny and Paul who is also called Gottle and they were amazed, for it seemed to them to be a great and fitting entertainment, especially to those of the Brethren who didst win prizes of wine and chocolate.

And after many hours of discussions and imbibing, the Brethren went to bed and so ended the first night of the Event.

On the second day of the Event the Brethren didst learn much from the wise of their number who didst present certain seminars. And after this the Brethren didst eat lunch and then some of them didst attend a meeting. But some of the Brethren, being uninterested didst arrange for Paul who is also called Gottle to take them in the minibus to witness the football which is played nearby, and Paul who is also called Gottle and certain of the other of the Brethren didst take themselves to search for certain geocaches which were concealed nearby.

Finally near the end of the day, the elders of the Town of Northampton in which is the land of Rezidor didst come to visit the Brethren, and break bread (and four cheese tart with sweet pepper salsa, roast lamb with rosemary and sticky toffee pudding) with them and afterwards didst witness the result of the toil of the tribe of Cosmic and the distribution of awards the those of the Brethren who had won. And afterwards there was much rejoicing and so ended the second night of the Event.

Now the last day of the Event didst start later then the first or the second for all the brethren were afflicted with hangovers, but eventually some of the brethren didst go and visit Radio Nene Valley, and some didst ramble with Geoff and Amelia, and yet more didst attend a seminar with Nigel, one of the elders of the EC.

After this finally didst come the lunch of farewell where other elders of the EC, Paul and June gave thanks to Marie and John and their friends for arranging a most wondrous Event, and all were glad, even the fourteen of the Brethren who had been cast out to the Ibis which is next door. And after the brethren had left for their own lands, Marie and John were greatly tired and didst rest for the remainder of the third day.

Finally on the fourth day, Marie and John didst talk with the Elders of the Land of Rezidor, and they were glad, for the bill was less than they had feared, and agreement was reached. So Marie and John didst depart in peace for their own lands with great rejoicing.

The End

We’re back

Yes as you can see we’re back from Northampton conference. We had a wonderful weekend. The food was superb, the company fantastic, what more could you ask for…

I’m pleased to say that there were no problems with the ‘Brethren’. More details to follow.

The journey home was slightly longer than we expected. We left the hotel just after 2pm and didn’t arrive home until after 8.30pm. Junctions 26 – 28 of the M1 were closed so we had to find an alternative route and as everyone else had to do the same, the roads were rather busy.

Normal post conference tradition is to go to the Chinese for lunch on the Tuesday. However when we got there they were closed ! ! ! ! ! ! ! For some reason they have decided to close from 2nd – 14th April.

To say we were stunned would be an understatement. We had a look at the other eateries along the seafront but they either didn’t do lunch time openings or we didn’t fancy them. So we went to the Wessington pub instead.

Oh and while we were out I became the proud owner of a blue Nissan Note, taking delivery of it on 1st September…..


Friday, March 23, 2007

How the Brethren received the news

Now we have heard how the fourteen Brethren who were to be cast out had been selected and how emissaries had been dispatched bearing the news.

But when the Brethren received the news, they were divided in their opinions. Some heard the news and were content, but some went about saying loudly, “This is not right, for verily we hath booked our places at the Hotel and we should not be cast out to the Ibis. Let some others be cast out in our place”. And some were greatly troubled by this and they didst communicate with Marie and make their wrath known unto her. And Marie was greatly annoyed by this. For verily didst two of the brethren shout at her and also didst they cancel their bookings.

To be continued ...

Monday, March 19, 2007

How the fourteen Brethren were chosen

In the first book we learned how Marie and John didst organise an Event and how the hotel did cast out fourteen of their Brethren to the Ibis which is next door. And we heard how he that is called Phil didst talk with the tribe of Rezidor and that it availeth him not.

Now Marie and John didst make a call amongst the Brethren who were cast out saying that if any of ye shall volunteer to be cast out we shall pay thee tribute of ten pounds each, but only four were forthcoming.

At this time Phil didst mention this calamity to the EC and they didst command that the latest to book should be those who were to be cast out. So Marie did send emissaries from Royal Mail bearing letters to those who were the chosen ones.

To be continued ...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It came to pass ...

It came to pass that Marie and John did propose that an Event be held in the town of Northampton, and the Events Sub-Committee did look upon this Event and they saw that it was good and they did say unto Marie and John, “Go forth and organise thy Event”.

And many of the friends of Marie and John did book to attend the Event, and so didst the friends of the friends, and even also the friends of the friends of the friends of Marie and John. Also did book many diverse folk who were only interested on attending on the Saturday Night.

After many months of toil the rooming list was completed and Marie did send it unto the Hotel and they were happy. But on the ninth day afterwards the Hotel did return unto Marie saying, “Thy rooming list is too great for our hotel and there is no room at the inn so fourteen of thy brethren shall be cast out and shall have to stay at the Ibis which is nearby. For verily our contract sayeth that thee shall have 100 rooms on Saturday night, to which we have added an extra 20 only”.

Now there was much consternation in the household of Marie and John for verily the contract did say 110 rooms on Saturday night, to which were added another 33 rooms. So Marie did talk with the Hotel and they did agree that the contract sayeth 110 rooms on the Saturday night, but that they had forgotten this, and that they had forgotten to add 13 of the extra 33 rooms also. And the Hotel did then say that they had only 130 rooms for us, for they had sold the rest, and that they had booked an extra 14 rooms at the Ibis for the brethren that had been cast out.

So now John did speak with the Chairman of the Events Sub-Committee, who many call Phil. And Phil was consumed with rage that the Hotel could treat his brethren in such a way. And Phil did speak with the Chief Priest of the tribe of Rezidor in whose lands the Hotel is situated. And the Chief Priest did speak with the Hotel but there was no health in his arguments and Phil and John were sorely troubled.

To Be Continued …

Friday, March 16, 2007

Only two more pounds….

And then I’ll have earned my first diet reward. To date I’ve lost 10lbs which is good but not enough.

I’ve still got at least a stone/stone and a half to lose before I reach my target weights. I say weights. I would like to get down to seven and a half stone whereas my mam thinks I should stop at eight stone.

I’ve been having a few problems with the hem on my gala dinner dress so have had to seek advice from my mam. I’ve had it in/out four times and even though I’ve measured it on Gertie, it still looks wrong.

I tried it on this afternoon and in her opinion it looks ok so I’m leaving it as it is. She even commented that it could be taken in as I seem to have lost the weight in all the right places for once.


Monday, March 12, 2007

First time in living memory ...

... that the internet time service hasn't made a mess of daylight saving.

Let me explain.

At work I use an internet time source (like one of those radio controlled clocks radio stations use, but over the internet instead) to keep the time and attendance system synchronised.

So far so good, but every time the Americans change to or from daylight saving the time from the UK sources changes too. Yes - I know it shouldn't do that because the source is only providing UTC (what the rest od the world call GMT), but it does.

Now this year Mr Bush decided that instead of changing clocks on the first of April they would change on the eleventh of March. And those states that didn't participate (such as Arizona and parts of Delaware) would have to join in too. Something about saving energy.

And much to my surprise, everything worked. As a precaution I turned the time service off over the weekend but this morning the times were correct and I was able to turn it back on again. Now all we have to do is hope that it works when we change our clocks.

So there you are, you sat around all week hoping for a decent blog and you got a techie one instead. Actually it's been really quiet here. Just keeping out heads down and working towards conference at the end of the month. Three weeks and it will be all over.

John (and Marie)